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    • #118795
      FallingAutumnLeaf
      Participant

      I posted this yesterday and it was taken down. So, I deleted some identifying details out because I could use as many responses as possible. I have no one else to talk to.

      I’ve been with my boyfriend for a few years. When we met, he was charming and mysterious and once he began to pursue me, I ignored all the red flags. Shortly after we started dating, he took my virginity. I’m a lot younger and obviously less experienced, he had explained how much he missed and needed sex, and I was afraid he wouldn’t want to be with me if I told him I wasn’t ready. So, I let him do it. A few months after that, he started talking to his Ex again and told me it was to smooth things over. I explained to him that it made me uncomfortable and that I would be more comfortable if he would end communication with her. He then proceeded to lie about deleting her number, invited her over to his house to apparently talk, and then when I found out, he then proceeded to tell me that he didn’t care about how I felt about the situation and that he was going to do whatever he wanted. I was heartbroken. We semi broke up after that until he came back explaining that he didn’t know why he said all that stuff and that he wished he could take it all back and that he couldn’t live without me. I fell for it, but he continued the same narrative with every issue in our relationship. He joined a club a bit after that. Not only did he ignore my concerns about the club lifestyle being filled with sexism, racism, and just bad influences that made me uncomfortable, but he completely started to neglect our relationship all together. He continuously put the club before our relationship. We never did anything together that wasn’t with the club. If he had plans with the club, there was no breaking them. One night, I asked him to come over to discuss how the club is effecting our relationship. I could only get him to stay for a literal 10 minutes. All he did the whole time was tell me that my feelings didn’t matter and that he was going to do whatever he wanted. He ended up leaving me, bawling my eyes out, because he had made plans to go to the clubhouse. When he ended up leaving the club (detail removed by Moderator) ago, he’s used it against me whenever I’d bring up something that hurt me. Like, I couldn’t bring attention to his hurtful actions or words because apparently him leaving the club was my fault and he did it for me. The whole relationship there’s been multiple instances where he’d ignore my feelings about something and when I’d bring up how it hurt me or made me uncomfortable, he’d shut down and become a completely different person. Everything always turns into an argument. There’s been times where he would say he didn’t love me anymore and that he wanted me gone. He’d throw my stuff out the door and when I’d go try and pick it up or sometimes he’d physically push me out the door, he’d lock me outside. He’s threatened to break my stuff, hurt me, hurt himself, etc. If I bring up anything, I’m apparently causing drama or I’m making it up. If I told him something he does hurts me, he’d flip it around on me. Either say I’m the reason he acts that way or he’d bring up something I do to make him unhappy. Usually that I don’t have sex with him enough, even though I’ve explained that the way he has treated me has made me feel scared to be vulnerable. Each time he’d come back, crying, saying he was sorry and that he was going to get help because he didn’t know why he did the things he does. I have fallen for it every time. Mostly because about (detail removed by Moderator) into the relationship, I found out that he suffered a traumatic brain injury before we met. Since then, it’s been held as an excuse for how he acts and if I get upset over something, it’s because I’m not being understanding of his condition. I’ve begged him ever since then for him to get help. Get therapy. Something. His response was always his usual, that nothing was going to fix anything so he was just going to live his life the way he wanted so my feelings on the subject didn’t matter. I moved in with him as soon as Covid happened because my family wasn’t taking it seriously and I needed to because I’m high risk. It’s been hard. Some aspects have been good, just like the relationship as a whole, but some have been concerning. He realizes that I’m at my breaking point now, but a lot of the times he takes it out on me. If I bring up anything, he tells me that if I submit to him and have sex with him that it will help him treat me better. There’s been times that I’ll be crying into a pillow during sex. I tell him it isn’t helping, but he just gets mad. Now that I live with him, if I bring up anything, he threatens that this isn’t really my house and he can kick me out whenever. He insists that he pay for everything and do most of the house chores because he says that it makes him feel more like a man because he can’t do much to provide for me, but then he uses it against me when I come to him with something. Like, I’m lazy or like I need him or something. He’ll say things like, “If you don’t want to live here, you can go live with your family and be unsafe.” So, I feel like I’m stuck. A (detail removed by Moderator) ago, I told him that I was depressed with a lot of things, and it turned into a fight. He ended up telling me that he finds me unattractive. He said he’d be happier with me if I got surgery to have a flatter tummy and a bigger butt. He said the only way he’d want me to stay with him is if I got on a diet and worked out and if I didn’t want to do that, then I’m a bad girlfriend who doesn’t want to do anything for him. It broke me down completely. I used to have an ED so it was a lot to handle. After saying all of that and having me bawl my eyes out in bed for hours, it was like a switch went off in his head and he apologized and said he didn’t know why he said any of it and that none of it was true and that he was going to get help. I stayed. I haven’t fully fallen for it yet though. It’s hard to believe because he’s always been very open about the kind of woman he likes. He’s committed on the way I stand/walk because apparently I don’t stick my butt out enough. He’s always told me he wants me to eat a lot so we can “(detail removed by Moderator)” & “(detail removed by Moderator)”. I’m a curvyish woman, but I’ve never felt like I truly met his needs. The (detail removed by Moderator) since the incident, he actually started therapy, he’s done a few sessions. Which, even though I’ve asked for so many years for him to take his issues seriously, I almost feel obligated to stay and respect the process. I’ve tried my best to stay as vulnerable as possible since he apologized and got into therapy. (Meaning sex) He continues to say that he needs sex for him to be happy and to continue to try and give me what I need. Which, a part of me understands needing physical love, but I don’t understand why he can’t respect the fact that he has damaged my security in being vulnerable and sometimes it’s just hard. He says that he’s trying his best to get better, but when I tell him that he needs to acknowledge that he has been emotionally abusive and has n**********c tendencies and that he needs to explain that to his therapist entirely, he has literally laughed at me and said that I’m just dramatic and he’s been pretty vague with his therapist from what he has told me, like he doesn’t want to be honest about what’s really wrong with him. I’m just having a hard to determining what’s real and what’s not. Am I being emotionally abused or am I just dramatic? Can he really change or am I just wasting my time? I feel incredibly alone. I’m completely isolated and I feel like I have no one to talk to or nowhere to go, if things end. I also don’t want to end our long term relationship and end all the good and leave, if he really can get better. I don’t know what to do, but I know I’m at a breaking point and need to see change soon or I won’t be able to handle it anymore. What do you guys think?

    • #118798
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      Hi there,

      Welcome to the forum and well done for reaching out. This man is subjecting you to horrendous abuse. He is abusing you in every way he can; physically, emotionally, sexually, psychologically. None of this is your fault, I know it’s hard to believe but he chooses to behave this way. He is doing it all deliberately so he has power and control over you and sex when he wants it. He wont change because why would he? His awful behaviour gets him everything his way. He will not acknowledge that what he is doing is wrong because he believes he is entitled to treat you this way. In his mind it is your role to fulfill his needs. He does not believe he has any responsibility to meet any needs you might have.

      His brain injury is no excuse for abusing you. It is not your job to fix him, no one can fix another person. If his brain injury even does cause his behaviour(unlikely but possible) then he needs to manage that responsibly and not get involved in intimate relationships. It is more likely he using it to make you excuse his behaviour and pity him. It may not even be true. These men are liars.

      You are confused because of the brainwashing and psychological abuse. He has made you doubt your own reality. Google the power and control wheel, gaslighting and cognitive dissonance. Do not speak to him about the abuse, it is pointless and could be very dangerous. Contact womens aid and tell your family if you can. You dont deserve this abuse but you do have the power to escape it.

      He wont change. Please try to get out before he hurts you any more. Sending big hugs xx

      • #120332
        FallingAutumnLeaf
        Participant

        Hey, I know it’s been a while since you responded to this, but it stayed relatively calm, with only a few hiccups, since I last posted. Today was a bad day, so I’m back and needing advice. It’s been (detail removed by Moderator) years of the same abuse and only (detail removed by Moderator) weeks of him going to therapy and still, I feel as though he might not take it seriously enough to change. I also think sometimes I just have a hard time not focusing on the past/recent abuse and refocusing on how he’s trying to get better. Today was one of those days that I was in my head with all of the pain from the abuse and I brought it to his attention and it didn’t turn out well. When I told him that I’m hurting and that I’m having trust issues and I’m scared that things aren’t going to get better, he was emotionless except for frustration. I’ll communicate things that I need from him to fix our situation, along with him going to therapy, and most of the time he says the same “I’m sorry. I’m trying.” And then the next day, those things are back to being neglected. So, I told him I feel like even me openly communicating what I need still isn’t helping him take it seriously and do what he needs to do to fix things. He then told me my complaining is annoying and that if I can’t be happy with what he’s doing now and except that he’s trying, then I should leave. I started to get so frustrated with the empty, repeated “sorry” and “I’m trying” while listening to him lash out and deflect, I began to then lash out. That’s usually how it is though. I tell him that he’s doing something abusive, he acts heartless towards it or he lashes out in some way, like belittling/insulting me or telling me it’s not real, then I lash out in frustration, and he turns it around on me like I’m the one causing all the problems. I’ll use terms like, emotional abuse or gaslighting, to help him understand what he’s doing and how I feel, and all he does is get angry and say my feminist mindset is the problem. Sometimes I think that I am abusive and that I’m the problem because I can’t seem to get past everything and i keep bringing it up and getting frustrated with him. He told me (detail removed by Moderator), after it all exploded, that he doesn’t want me here anymore and that I don’t make him happy or excite him. He tried to go pack my clothes and I tried to stop him and got scared and pushed him into (detail removed by Moderator) to get him away from my stuff and then he pushed me (detail removed by Moderator) and freaked out and said that we’re done. I feel like he definitely isn’t going to take what I’ve been saying seriously because pushing him is definitely abuse. Isn’t it? I’m really sorry for pushing him. I don’t know what came over me. I have some past trauma from before him and he’s gotten in my face, screaming, and I got scared and slapped him and I’ve always felt sorry for doing it but he’s always held it over my head whenever I say that he’s abusive. Like, saying stuff like, “I’m the one who’s been hit.” On one hand I know he has been abusive and that it’s okay for me to stand up for myself, but on another hand, I feel ashamed for how I’ve reacted and sometimes feel like I’m abusive as well. I don’t know. Maybe I am abusive. Maybe I am a problem and I just need to stay quiet and move on and let the therapy process work. I’m just so confused.

      • #120338
        Hawthorn
        Participant

        He is baiting you to provoke a reaction then blaming you when you lash out. He is the architect of this situation, not you. Abusers always flip the blame onto us. Always. And living with abuse changes our behaviour too. We begin to act in ways we could never imagine.

        Sadly these men dont change. He has abused you for years and is making you miserable. Turning you into someone you dont want to be. It doesn’t matter what words you use to explain to him what he is doing, he wont stop. He knows very well how much he is hurting you, he just doesnt care. He feels entitled to behave this way. Speaking to him about the abuse is dangerous. Tell him nothing, particularly if you are planning to leave. You do not need to wait for him to go through a therapy process that wont work because he will never take responsibility for his actions.

        Keep a journal so you can see the pattern. Tell your GP and please reach out to Womens Aid,cthey will help and support you. Keep posting here too. If you’re up for reading try Why Does he do That by Lundy Bancroft. You can read it for free online. You are not alone, reach out for support. You deserve it xx

      • #120421
        FallingAutumnLeaf
        Participant

        I know you’re probably tired of hearing from me, but today was even worse. (Detail removed by moderator) we spent some time away from each other. Meaning, we stayed in separate rooms. We didn’t speak at all, except when I tried to get him to eat. (Detail removed by moderator) I woke up late because I was depressed and went into the living room and he didn’t even acknowledge me. He acted as though he couldn’t care if I was around or not. I asked(detail removed by moderator) It hurt my feelings. I asked him if he wanted to be alone again today and he basically just exploded. Kept (detail removed by moderator) I don’t make him happy. He gets mad about how I’ve been feeling after all the abuse he’s caused. He keeps pointing out that he’s getting help and trying to get better, but apparently I’m not doing anything to help. Like, I’m making him worse and making him not be able to get better. Like, I’ve struggled to be intimate, but I’m also trying to be completely open about the hurt and what I need from him to fix it. He says I just run him down. He keeps telling me that I’m no longer wanted here, that he doesn’t want to be with me anymore. I’ve been trying to explain to him that we just need to get him help with his issues and help me recover from all the abuse. I told him that it takes time, (detail removed by moderator), but if we do it, everything will be better. All he says is (detail removed by moderator). He keeps acting like I’ve been the problem and that how I’ve handled the abuse is what got us to this point. Every time I point out something that hurts me or try to explain that his (detail removed by moderator) is causing problems and we need to fix it, he deflects and pushes everything on me. He called me lazy and controlling and said all I know how to do is complain. I just ask him to get help and to give me emotional stability and not be abusive anymore, yet somehow he makes me feel like a huge problem. We live with his parents right now and he said (detail removed by moderator) apparently they’ve been hearing us argue. I just feel completely out of control. I know that what he’s been doing to me is damaging and wrong, but when I try to explain it to him, he makes me feel like I’m causing all of it. Like, maybe I’m not trying hard enough to forgive him and I’m just running him down with talking about my feelings and maybe I am just unattractive physically and mentally and I need to fix myself. He’s consistently done this our whole relationship. He’ll be emotionally abuse, tell me he doesn’t want me anymore, and then once I leave, call me back crying saying that he loves me and doesn’t know why he’s like this and promises everything will be better. I asked him (detail removed by moderator)  why he’s always made these broken promises, if he was just going to break up with me  (detail removed by moderator) of trying. Like, I’ve begged him to get help for (detail removed by moderator), and now after (detail removed by moderator) of trying, it’s too much and it’s not going to work. (detail removed by moderator), I’ve believed every promise and have revolved my life around him. For (detail removed by moderator), I’ve depended on him. We have a dog together and I’m afraid he’ll keep me from her. He’s been making me feel like it’s my fault that this is happening. It all makes me scared to leave. Like, I have no where else to go, so much to lose, and it’s my fault if it all goes away. I know most people would probably hear this and wonder why it’s not easy for me to leave. He’s just made everything so hard and confusing. I asked him today if he still loves me and (detail removed by moderator). Maybe I’m just unlovable and I deserved everything he’s done and I should just get over it and let him work on his issues without my input. I don’t know.

    • #118805
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Hi,

      I was one of the women who answered your thread yesterday. Not sure if you got to read my response or not but let’s give it another whirl 😀

      Yes my lovely, I’m afraid you are being abused and in all the ways Hawthorn has said. No he is not going to change and even if he decides to at some other future point in his life, are you going to wait until your hair has turned grey and your skin wrinkled and you’re black and blue hoping for the day when that change may or may not happen? What would you tell your friend if they came to you and said all the same things were happening to them? It’s not likely you’d advise them to wait or stay whilst they were being mistreated, neglected and abused.

      Healthy relationships don’t feel like this. They don’t operate like this. They are mutually exclusive and both partners have their needs and wants met. They don’t force or coerce the other partner to have sex or do anything that the other person is not comfortable or ok with. Only one-sided abusive relationships have a victim and a perpetrator where the perpetrator gets all their needs and wants met whilst the victim has their needs and wants dismissed, ignored and negated via cruelty, neglect and manipulation.

      This will be a lot to take in, it is for all of us when we reach out and others tells us the truth. It’s an ugly truth but it’s what will start to help you break free from him.

      You deserve better x

      Take a look around the forum and read other posts. The more you read and understand and the more you feel you can talk the better. Also, reach out to Women’s Aid, they have a livechat area on their website where you can talk to someone directly from Women’s Aid when it’s safe and convenient for you to do so.

      You’re not alone x

    • #118807
      xxx22
      Participant

      Hello x

      It’s so great that you decided to join the forum – as the ladies above said, the more you read the more you will start to become familiar with behaviours and patterns in abuse. That definitely helped me. I used to ask the same questions “Am I being dramatic?” “There is so many great times?” “Will he change?”. But one thing I have realised is that it is impossible for somebody to change that doesn’t see a problem in their behaviour to begin with. The fact he repeatedly does these horrific things towards you and then laughs it off when you talk about emotional abuse says it all. This is somebody who may have spent their entire life being or reacting this way so to them it seems normal but it is not and it doesn’t need to be your normal. I also realised that by reaching out to Women’s Aid and to this forum meant that of course this was abuse because being in a genuine, loving and healthy relationship wouldn’t have you ‘second guessing’ yourself and ending up here.

      As GreenSapphire & Hawthorn said, head to the live chat on women’s aid where you can talk to somebody and gradually build an understanding and the strength to leave the relationship. This will only get worse, not better unfortunately. You deserve far better x x

    • #119166
      Lazarus17
      Participant

      Hi FallingAutumnLeaf. I echo what others have said (Your partner and my ex could be the same person!)
      This is not your fault
      It is abuse
      He is manipulative
      You are not being dramatic
      Your feelings matter
      Your mental health matters
      He will not change
      He will always make excuses for his behaviour
      He will always blame you for his faults

      Aghh,I could go on for days, but please, don’t stay in a relationship that only feeds one person (and sucks the life out of the other) I made that mistake and have wasted the best part of my life. Make an escape plan, then when you’re ready, go!

    • #119193
      Hetty
      Participant

      Hi, fallingautumnleaf,
      I agree with what the other women have said. This man is abusing you. These men use us as their emotional punchbags and in some cases physical ones too. My ex had a truly awful childhood. I made excuses for his behaviour while ignoring the fact that in attempts to maintain power and control in our relationship me and my child had to suffer. My ex sought therapy and tried medication. Nothing worked. His views of women were to put up and shut up. In all other areas of my life I was valued and respected yet I’d go home and be spoken to like a dog. In the end I had to leave to save my son and myself, to break the cycle of abuse. In my experience these men don’t change. Ask yourself how much more of your precious life are you going to give him, why must we be the ones to have to sacrifice so much for so little in return?
      My ex really ramped up his behaviour over the time we lived together. All the while gaining power and control. He thought he had me trapped so I was regularly told to leave when he knew fine well it wasn’t that easy. In the end I left with my child. It wasn’t easy and took me many months of grieving and planning but I got there abs you can too. You don’t have to live like this. You’re not alone xx

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